One of my favorite places here at Lake Chelan is up at Echo Ridge. This beautiful trail system is located in the foothills just above Manson and Chelan. It’s really easy to get to any time of year and provides access for all hikers, easy to difficult, and is really great for families!
The trail area is owned and managed by the USDA Forest Service, the O-W National Forest and the Chelan Ranger District but the Lake Chelan Nordic Club is who takes really good care of it. The love and care of this area is highly visible and easily receives the respect and care of its visitors.
The trails are curvy, interesting, and fun; they crisscross and intertwine. The views are simply amazing! You will find yourself walking among ponderosa pines and Douglas firs, then out into a meadow with young trees still recovering from old wildfires, and lovely wildflowers. Old stumps and natural debris create the canvas for natures art. The views of Lake Chelan, the Columbia Plateau and the Okanogan Highlands are breath taking. It’s almost always sunny up there which is especially amazing in the winter when the area itself sits above the clouds below leaving you feeling like you must be in heaven. And when the fog does roll in bringing its own mysterious backdrop, your own creativity comes rolling out! Well, at least mine does, leaving me feel like I could write a book. The wintertime hoar frost and rime ice is spectacular!
Trails are groomed in the winter for snow shoeing and cross country and there is a reasonable fee for access during the winter months. During the other seasons, access is free. Trails are cleaned and diligently cared for by locals who love to bike and hike these trails. There’s a brand-new trail under construction right now!
All I can say is that if you are inclined to go outside and go for a walk, maybe a mountain bike ride, fat tire biking, jogging through the trees or just a drive to see amazing views… if you want to escape the craziness of your life or if you feel creative in any way, you should be prepared! And, if geo-caching catches your interest, this is your place, too.
I promise, you won’t be disappointed!